Capitalist state

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Capitalist state, in popular usage, is a state with a form of government characterized by autocratic, single-party rule, or multi-party rule on the basis of a capitalist market economy.

Historically, a "capitalist state" referred to a system where private ownership of all or most means of production is deemed necessary; today, a capitalist state can also, for instance, refer to contemporary China and Vietnam, where a Communist Party-run state exists alongside a mixed economy. According to Marxists–Leninists, the state is a tool in the hands of the ruling class, which in a socialist society is the working class, so a capitalist state is, according to Leninists, a state of the bourgeoisie, while a socialist state is a state of the working class.

Capitalist states may have several legal political parties, but a party supportive of capitalism is usually granted a special or dominant role in government. Consequently, the institutions of the state and capitalism become intimately entwined, such as in the development of parallel institutions.

The fundamental concepts of capitalist states often diverge from the original socio-economic ideologies from which they develop. As a result, many adherents of these ideologies often oppose the political systems commonly associated with these states. For example, dissenting capitalists such as proponents of anarcho-capitalism and minarchism were often opposed to the capitalist states of the 20th century, claiming either that they had nothing to do with "real" capitalism or that the ideology of such states had reached a point of irrevocable corruption.

Types of capitalist states

While historically almost all claim lineage to mercantilist, free market, social market, or neo-liberal doctrines, there are many varieties of capitalist states, with indigenous adaptions.[1]

State institutions

Capitalist states share similar institutions, which are organized on the premise that the institution of private property advances the long-term interests of the people. The doctrine of private ownership of the means of production, which was developed in ancient times as a set of principles predating the modern capitalist state, is extended to society at large.

The constitutions of most capitalist states describe their political system as a form of democracy. Thus, they recognize the sovereignty of the people as embodied in a series of representative parliamentary institutions. Capitalist states do not necessarily have a separation of powers. Instead of a bicameral or multicameral legislature, they may have one national legislative body, such as the Legislative Council of Brunei, whose members are appointed by the autocratic sultan.

Modern period

List of current capitalist states

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The following countries are autocratic, one-party, or multi-party states in which the institutions of the ruling party and the state function under a capitalist model; hence they fall under the definition of capitalist states that officially support capitalism. They are generally adherents of neo-liberalism and Conservatism in particular and as such represent a particular ideology that many capitalists may not share. They are listed here together with the year of their founding and rulers:

Country Since Ruling Regime / Political Party Leader
 Brunei 1984 Autocracy Hassanal Bolkiah
 Bulgaria 1990 (Republic of Bulgaria) National Movement for Stability and Progress Boyko Borisov
 Canada 1867 Conservative Party Stephen Harper
 Germany 1949 (Federal Republic of Germany) Christian Democratic Union Angela Merkel
 Haiti 1804 Repons Peyizan Michel Martelly
 Indonesia 1949 Democratic Party Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
 Kiribati 1979 Pillars of Truth Anote Tong
 South Korea 1948 Saenuri Party Park Geun-Hye
 Mexico 1821 Institutional Revolutionary Party Enrique Peña Nieto
 Russia 1991 (Russian Federation) United Russia Vladimir Putin
 Sudan 1956 National Congress Omar al-Bashir
 Turkey 1923 Justice and Development Party Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
 Ukraine 1991 Party of Regions Viktor Yanukovych
 United States 1776 Democratic Party Barack Obama


  1. Morishima, Michio (1976). The Economic Theory of Modern Society. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-21088-7. p. 1.

Further reading

This article contains content from Wikipedia.
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Capitalist state